An important consideration when choosing an integration platform is how it synchronizes data. For your records to be truly synchronized, your integration platform needs to recognize changes made to existing records as well as newly created records.
Unfortunately, many integration platforms only transfer new records entered. For example, a new customer who orders from your web shop would then have a new contact card created in your CRM application.
Yet in many situations, changes are made to records that already exist e.g. changing the postal or email address of a loyal customer in your CRM software. In this case, if the change is not updated in the second application, such as your accounting software, then your integration is almost worthless as your software will be out-of-sync as soon as you update an existing contact, product or other record.
To give another example of the importance of true data synchronization, if you use Point of Sale software and connect it to your ERP system – where you set the price of each product item – when the price of an existing product is updated, it will not flow to your Point of Sale software and your prices will be incorrect at the till.
Another thing to consider is the completeness of the integration. Fortunately, ConnectMyApps has the sophistication to make sure all the necessary data is added or updated in the relevant applications. This helps avoid gaps or inconsistent records in your core business software. Here is a common example:
- A company has an on-line store which is integrated with their CRM software, their accounting software and their stock control software.
- When a new customer orders a product listed in their on-line store, ConnectMyApps will first check whether there is a customer account for that person already in the accounting software, and if not, create it before transferring details of the sales order. If the customer was already registered, ConnectMyApps would update their existing records.
- ConnectMyApps will also simultaneously check the CRM application to see if the customer exists in that system, and create a new contact if needed, or if they are already registered, update their contact card with details of the new order.
- Similarly, ConnectMyApps will check the stock control software to see if that specific product exists in the product list, and if not, create it.
The diagram below shows the steps ConnectMyApps does in the background to ensure your business data is consistent, complete and up-to-date.
If an integration platform only partially updates records, you will waste a lot of time checking for incomplete records and manually adding missing information, which can be more time consuming and confusing than typing in the entire record from scratch.
While some integration platforms have connections to a huge range of applications, the way their integrations work in reality is very superficial, and do not support real life business processes. Remember, integration is more than just transferring a record from one system to another, so make sure the platform you chose offers true data synchronization and complete integration, not just simple ‘copy and paste’ duplication.